Kevin A. Menicoche
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. You may have heard a report on the radio this morning about how there will be no nurse in the community of Wrigley this year. I had spoken earlier saying that there would be a return of the service to Wrigley and it gave me no pleasure to correct this publicly.
The road to returning nursing service to Wrigley is a challenging one. When I was first elected I was told that there would be no nurse for Wrigley until there is policing. So I worked hard in the last term to ensure the return of policing to Wrigley. The Minister of Justice then, Cabinet, and our Assembly approved two RCMP positions in 2007 and a commitment for a detachment by 2011.
The next piece of the puzzle should have been easy: re-establish nursing to Wrigley. Yet for the past two and a half years I’ve continued to raise this issue. In November 2009 I understood from the Minister of Health and Social Services that there was a proposal to return nursing services to Wrigley. In December I did indeed advise the new chief of Wrigley, Tim Lennie, that there would be a position for Wrigley in 2010.
However, yesterday I was advised by Deh Cho Health and Social Services that there was no dedicated nursing position in their budget. Although the Government of the Northwest Territories approves funding for boards, it does not make detailed decisions on how the money is spent. I think the priority of our government should be the priority of our boards.
Myself and the community of Wrigley need the Minister of Health and Social Services and our government to pay attention to our needs. How will they provide for the needs of Wrigley and the residents of Nahendeh. I will be following up on this during question period.